11 Sep 2020: Sushant for Bihar-polls, Rhea for Bengal? Parties evoke regional cards
In poll-bound Bihar, the sensational Sushant Singh Rajput death case became a simmering issue, with the ruling NDA milking the tragedy to score political points.
Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is leading the way.
What happened: After assuming charge as Congress Bengal President, Chowdhury mentioned Rhea
Chowdhury, Congress' leader in Lok Sabha, was made the in-charge of the party's Bengal unit recently.
One of the first things he did after assuming office was speak about Rhea, who is being incessantly covered by news channels for weeks now.
On September 9, Chowdhury wrote on Twitter that Sushant was an Indian actor but BJP made him a "Bihari actor" for political benefits.
Tweet: Central agencies trying to please their political masters: Chowdhury
In another tweet, he wrote it was absurd that Rhea was arrested not for murder or abetment to suicide, but under the NDPS Act.
"To please the Political Masters Central agencies have played their roles, after churning the sea they have discovered drugs instead of nectar. Still they are groping in the dark to identify of who is the murderer? (sic)" his tweet read.
Tweets: Rhea is a Bengalee Brahmin Lady, said Chowdhury
He then reminded that Rhea's father is a retired military officer and she a "Bengalee Brahmin lady."
"Father of Rhea is also entitled to demand justice for his kids, trial by media is an ominous portent for our judicial system. Justice for all is one of the basic tenets of our constitution, (sic)" tweeted Chowdhury, becoming the first prominent Congress leader to address the matter.
Fact: You can read Chowdhury's thread here
Narrative: Not only Congress, Trinamool also hopped on the bandwagon
Chowdhury's eagerness to play the Bengali card implies he is left with little choice to face incumbent Trinamool and an ever-strong BJP together.
Trinamool, despite sharply disagreeing with Congress on ideologies, also tried to cash in on the narrative of "Bengali women" being soft targets.
The ruling party, that maintained a low-profile for long, said BJP's disdain for Bengalis is out in open.
Fact: BJP has hatred towards Bengalis: Trinamool's spokesperson
"I feel that as Rhea is a Bengali, she was victimized even before she was proven guilty in court. The vilification campaign once again proves sheer hatred of the BJP towards Bengalis. We had witnessed something similar in the Assam NRC, too," said Saugata Roy.
Details: "Bengali pride" likely to set mood in next year's polls
Undoubtedly, as polls would come closer, "Bengali pride" will gain mileage. Smaller organizations, too, will play a role in setting the tone.
To note, Bangla Pokkho, an outfit fighting for Bengali rights, said by attacking Bengali women, BJP reflected its hatred.
"The BJP, which is dreaming of capturing power in Bengal, doesn't have an iota of respect for Bengal or Bengalis," said the organization.
Bihar: And in Bihar, Sushant has already become a poll issue
Not long ago in Bihar, BJP's "Kala Sanskriti Manch" released posters, banners, stickers, and masks bearing Sushant's face, to send the message that the party would get the "son of soil" justice.
After BJP was slammed for misusing a mishap for electioneering, Varun Kumar Singh, the state coordinator for the cultural wing, said the matter wasn't political, but "close to his heart."
Fact: Posters sent political message but BJP had a different take
"We had demanded a CBI inquiry to probe Sushant Singh Rajput's death. I had even sent letters to ministers demanding justice for him (Sushant). We started this movement on June 16. He was an artist and so am I," Singh said, defending his move.